Councillor Hereward Algonquin today announced a "Zero Tolerance" approach to littering, along with measures to help residents avoid the stringent punishments being proposed for offenders.
From the end of this month, anyone caught littering in East Wallingford will face imprisonment of up to 24 months.
"Ignorance is no excuse, and neither is age," Mr Algonquin said, in response to complaints from local parents that "six months in jail is a bit harsh for your kid dropping a lollipop stick."
"Lollipops are among the products that will be banned from East Wallingford shops from next month, along with chewing gum, bubblegum, cigarettes, and any food product which is sold in packaging, unless that packagiing is fully biodegradable."
East Wallingford sweet manufacturer, Fergus Ferguson, who produces the world-famous Fergie's Flips (They're Flippin' Lovely) is looking at a new packaging for the Flips, made from cabbage leaves.
The anti-smoking lobby is delighted at the news. The chairman of the East Wallingford branch of "Banish the Evil Weed from our Streets" (BEWS) said,
"This will help our campaign immensely. As smoking as already banned in all public and private places in East Wallingford, except for the four-foot square "Smokers ' Colony" at the back of the abattoir, the few people who are still moronic enough to pursue this revolting activity with have to travel outside the area to purchase their instruments of suicide."
Fast-food outlets have also been targetted in the new legislation. According to Cllr. Algonquin, fries containers and burger boxes make up 51.3% of all East Wallingford litter. "There is a simple solution to this," he said. "From June, all customers will be required to purchase reusable containers to fetch their fries from the burger joints, much in the way that we encourage people to use their own shopping bags at the supermarkets, they can buy a "Box For Life" and simply wash it after eating their tasty snack, ready to re-use next time."
A spokesman from Benkyburgers in Northwood Street said, "We have no problem with this. Our reusable boxes are already in production and will be available next month. In the meantime, we are encouraging customers to get used to the new serving methods, by coming to collect their food in whatever they have lying around at home. We've already served soft drinks in jamjars, fries in cereal bowls, and we even served a burger yesterday in an antique bonbonierre."
Benkyburgers are offering a 1.3% discount to customers bringing their own packaging, until the legislation takes effect.